Wetlands as Best Management Practices for the Control of Diffuse Pollution

Event Date/Time: 
August 25, 2017 - 12:00pm
Event Location: 
3540 Engineering Building
M. Ekrem Karpuzcu, Assistant Professor, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
CEE Seminar


Expanded use of intensive farming practices, urbanization, and the global modification of freshwater hydrologic systems by dams and diversion has resulted in loss of wetlands and other landscape features that provide ecosystem services on a world-wide scale. There is a trend of restoring wetlands and developing treatment wetlands in the US and elsewhere. The objectives of wetland restoration are expanding from the creation or preservation of wildlife habitat to include incorporation of nutrient removal or other ecosystem services in constructed, restored, or managed wetlands that are used for environmental mitigation. The first part of the seminar will focus on the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for pesticide mitigation in the transboundary Meric Delta along the Turkish-Greek border, which is a significant ecological site protected under the international RAMSAR convention. Pesticides from adjacent farmland that enter into these wetlands pose a big threat to the aquatic life and species in the wetland system. Furthermore, these pollutants have potential to reach downstream water bodies including Meric River, negatively impacting water quality. Four organophosphate pesticides (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, fenthion, dichlorvos) commonly used in the basin were selected for inclusion in this study. In addition to the biotransformation experiments, adsorption of pesticides to sediment and plant samples was measured. The results of these experiments are part of an effort to understand factors controlling the fate of organophosphate pesticides in riparian wetlands and to determine the potential effectiveness of constructed wetlands as BMPs for pesticide mitigation in agricultural watersheds. The second part of this talk will focus on the implementation of stormwater wetlands to protect one of the major drinking water reservoirs in Istanbul. The reservoir faces an urbanization problem and receives a significant amount of diffuse pollution load from several tributaries during rainfall events. To maintain the water quality in the reservoir, stormwater wetlands have been designed in three major streams joining the reservoir. The designed wetlands are currently under construction by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI).